Series: The Elected Series #1
Published by Silence in the Library Publishing on 4-22-2014
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It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond their borders.
As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret – the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.
The kickstarter to this book is available at http://tinyurl.com/ElectedNovel. You will be able to get a copy of ELECTED in hardcover and/or paperback with a free ebook, a lot of special limited-edition items and other free books
Interview With Author Rori Shay
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Sure! It’s a sci-fi dystopian about a 17 yr old girl, Aloy, who is forced to masquerade as boy to take her country’s presidential role in the yr 2185.
What makes your book unique?
Elected is not a common dystopian that just tells you there was some sort of apocalypse but doesn’t explain how it happened. Elected specifically describes what global warming did to the earth and how world leaders reacted. Besides talking about the theme of environmental preservation, it also deals with issues of gender and tolerance.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I was on maternity leave, not getting a lot of sleep at night with the baby, and one day morning after a longer stretch of sleep, I just woke up with the entire trilogy mapped out in my head. I wrote it down on a scrap of paper immediately.
Is there any message you want readers to get from reading the book?
Yes, without being preachy, I want readers to walk away understanding the importance of protecting the planet and the animal, vegetation, and people living here.
How long did it take to write the book?
About a year for the first book in the trilogy and five months for the second. I’m still working on the third.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
I love my main character, Aloy, because she’s tenacious, and she’s always growing throughout the series. She definitely has her flaws, but it was fun to develop her and watch her overcome many of them.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
I outline everything and then cross things off the outline “list” as I go. As I develop the story more, it does sometimes shift. Yes, sometimes I was surprised about where the characters made the story go!
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
I’ve changed it so much over two yrs of editing. I think everything that I wanted changed is changed now finally!
How did you come up with the cover?
My cover artist, Suzannah Safi, created it after about 5 iterations back and forth with me. I wanted the face on the cover to be a little ambiguous regarding gender.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Early on. I was in first grade writing stories and then reading them out loud to the class.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
In first grade–a couple page story about rainbows. 🙂
What is your favorite genre, and why?
First, I love fiction above all other writing. And right now I’m very much into YA dystopian fiction because I like the predicament it places the main characters into. It makes them be brave and fight for what they believe in.
Are there any books you are absolutely inspired by?
I was inspired by the weaving of storyline from A Time Traveler’s Wife. It was so intricate and precise. I also loved the richness of the writing in A Night Circus. At the end of that book I felt like I’d eaten a chocolate cake–it was so satisfying. And of course The Hunger Games inspired me with it’s great main character.
What are you working on next?
A picture book about pumpkin picking and the third book in the Elected trilogy.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Keep writing even if the rejections pile up. Do not give up.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
It’s definitely a balancing act. My husband helps a lot. And I’m careful with my time, using every available moment for something!
- Items seen in ELECTED such as a marriage binding (temporary tattoo)
- Hemlock soap
- Necklace as seen in ELECTED
- Signed paperback copy of ELECTED
- Optional FaceTime or Skype session with the author for 1/2 an hour (can be used one-on-one or at the winner’s book club, etc.)
I see my opportunity to ask the very thing that’s been on the tip of my tongue for months. Something I know my parents won’t answer but that Tomlin might—if for no other reason than to further my education. “The Ship Accord didn’t stop everyone, though.” I know I’m bringing up something painful.
“You’re right.” Tomlin looks down.
“My brother.” I lean forward in my chair, expectant for some new tidbit of information from Tomlin. “What happened to him?” I am unwavering with my request for information on Evan.
“We don’t know.” Tomlin’s sadness is apparent.
“You were his tutor, right? What was he like? Would he have made a better Elected than me?” I’ve always wondered if Evan would have been better suited for the role than I. I know the answer must be yes since he was the true Elected, the only male heir of the family. Only men are allowed to be the Elected since women must focus on repopulation. But my parents and Tomlin encourage me to have more confidence. They have to, I guess, since they have no other choice.
I’m their only option left.
I know Tomlin doesn’t enjoy talking about my brother. No one does. Evan was everyone’s pride and joy until he ran away. But I never knew him at all. My parents had me as a hurried attempt for another child after Evan disappeared.
I keep pressing Tomlin for other information, knowing I won’t get an answer about Evan’s character. “How does everyone know Evan escaped via boat? How did he even find a ship to get away? I thought my grandfather destroyed all of them.” I see Tomlin cringe at my word ‘escaped’, and I chide myself that I’ve yet again made the Elected role sound like a prison sentence.
“As far as anyone knew, they were all dismantled, the parts used for building materials.” Tomlin rakes a hand through the thin wisps of his hair.
“So how’d Evan get one?” I am relentless. “And how’d he get it past Apa?” I can’t imagine how Evan managed to plan such an elaborate departure under my father’s tight scrutiny.
“Enough.” Tomlin’s tone is harsh but quiet. I know he can’t be budged when he doesn’t want to proceed. “We need to keep going with your studies. The public will expect you to be well-trained when you take office.”
“Okay, just one more question?” I ask, looking at my fingernails. They are perfect half-moons except for the two pinkies on whose nails I obsessively gnaw. As I get nearer to the date of my inauguration, the two nails seem to get shorter and shorter.
“One more, then we go on. But it must do with the Accords.”
“It does. Sort of. What do other countries do with people who make it through the sea to their lands?”
I can’t look at Tomlin while I wait for the answer. It’s something I already know in my heart, but I want to hear it out loud.
Finally, Tomlin answers, his voice a mere whisper. “What would we do?”
I stretch my palm out so I’m playing with my fingers instead of concentrating fully on my own words. I almost don’t want to hear them—don’t want to hear what might have happened to Evan.
“We use hemlock.”